Bands With The Worst Fans

Editor’s Warning:  This article contains more than a few opinions that are loaded with very naughty words, many commas, and a way with words that might make a few readers—especially people who need recreational and hard-core drugs to enjoy a rock show—very angry.  If you don’t enjoy the art of reading, you should head on over to Pitchfork. Lilith Fair festival fans may want to stop here and click on over to Etsy for a homemade hemp purse or something else you can smoke when the music isn’t moving ya. There you have it, don’t say we didn’t warn you. 

This article is about people who don’t love music, but attend rock shows to pretend that they enjoy music along with thousands of amateurs who are along for the same ride. Many of you, maybe?

Every purist, music nerd, knows who these people are. They’re in our own circle of friends. We also know how to spot them at a show, too, before they git that party goin’ with themselves and their posse along with those around them that they can lure into their hazy sight. This is not about the few, respectful people who show up to shows to actually LISTEN TO THE F**KING BAND. There are so little of you these days that enjoy music without bringing your posse and a bag of skunk weed to feel good about the music. Sad, simply sad.  

Here we go, these bands attract the worst fans at shows.

  • Wilco:  I don’t know if there’s another band that has managed to attract the kind of fans that are too snobby to go see Dave Matthews, but behave just the same if not worse than DMB’s fan base. There are more stoner dads at a Wilco show than a DMB show, but there are more stoner girls at a DMB show. Pick your poison, it’s basically the same crowd. The fans during the pre-Yankee era used to be cool, reserved, primarily intelligent human beings who enjoyed a good time, a few beers, maybe one or 2 covers and a raucous encore, but listened. That was about 6-800 of us for a decent run. Groups of fans would listen together, and ‘shoosh’ each other need be if talking got out of hand. Many used to take notes, exchange bootlegs. I was one of those nerds. Now a days? A larger, commercial, audience they’ve attracted is out for one thing: “YAY LOL I HOPE THEY PLAY CALIFORNIA STARS FOR AN ENCORE. IF THEY DON’T OMG.” I can’t stand it Jeff, I really can’t. I miss the Lounge Ax.
  • Phish: See my definition for Wilco and let me add:  Same ass-fan clowns but an awful listening experience due to the length of songs—fucking jams—and 3 sets plus extra-long encores. Do you know how hard it is to enjoy “Squirling Coil” while drugged up douchebags dance like tooth fairies in my 2 foot circle radius of  peace & quiet?  I hate you, all of you. Go to hell.
  • Grateful Dead:  See my definition for Wilco gain, but let me add: The true fans are really old now but still jaded, and the fake fans are all young and high. The elders thought drugs would bring them peace and love, but eventually real estate and the stock market sold their peace and love out. The 60s was some depressing shit for an entire generation. Who’s to say the 60s didn’t ruin concert going, too, with Woodstock and hot jams everywhere.  Long hot jams and solos, y’all.  I saw the Dead once, it was a terrible experience because the people I was with got lost—in the stadium—before the show started. Everyone, I mean, everyone around me offered me every kind of drug under the sun. I don’t do drugs, I do music. My first and only experience seeing the Grateful Dead confirmed any judgemental thoughts about their fan base that I had before going; especially the younger ones and their stupid teddy bear bumper stickers. The fortunate trust funded children who never actually enjoy music, just drugs and the counter-culture that surrounds it.  Soldier Stadium was the last time I saw the Dead and 6 friends from college who I haven’t talked to since.  Fuck y’all and any or all of you who may have been at this show for ruining my very first and your very last Dead show.  Jerry Garcia died a few days later, but I’d venture to say that decades of playing to such an awfully large, out-of-touch, douchebag fan base had something to do with it.
  • Dave Matthews Band:  Again, see Definition for Wilco and I’ll add:  Dave’s fan base are primarily hot girls who have no knowledge of the fact that they HATE live music. These are the sorts of people that love to go to Dave Matthews Band shows, people who hate live music.  It’s too bad, too.  What a waste, all those dancing nannies. I think Dave Matthews is one of those guys who would appreciate what I’m about to type because he seems like a smart, business-savvy, funny guy when he’s not performing his songs:  Please, do me a favor for one show, or an entire tour, and tell your band to leave the stage after 2 songs. Catch everyone, all your beautiful fans, off guard with an hour plus performance of stand-up comedy. Tell stories, have a roadie-ala-costumed-butler bring you a few martinis to the stage. Fumble about like Tony Clifton and exit stage left. I’m pretty, pretty, pretty sure your fans are so out of touch with actually listening to your band and music that they will have no idea what hit them, because they are there to tell their collegiate bar fly friends or co-workers the next day that they saw Dave.  “OMG, we saw Dave last night. He was so funny but he didn’t play music. It was so weird. YOLO! We had a great time.”  You have the best fans to poke around with, and you should, Dave. You really should risk it all for a few laughs.
  • Jimmy Buffett:  I don’t know what it’s like to enjoy Jimmy Buffett’s music, I don’t want to know. You couldn’t pay off my school loans in exchange for a paid courtship to a Buffett concert. Nope, not a living chance.  You’d have a hard time getting my dead carcass there, too.  The thoughts of being at a Jimmy Buffett show are all I have to comment on here and I’m probably (sadly) correct with what I’m about to transcribe:  Take all of the bands above and their fans, now, remove all of the Caucasians— which is about 90% of the total fan base of the those listed above— and drop them off on an island that’s doubling as an Apocalyptic-parking-lot gathering of tour-bus-travelling Buffett Fans who are waiting for Jimmy to rock their drunken souls to sleep.  They’re called Parrot Heads apparently, and they HATE live music. They’ll act like they are there for Jimmy, but they are not.  They are there to party— to wear extra-large Hawaiian shirts and get drunk, high, vomit, yell, sweat…. Just awful. Thoughts of Parrot Heads are just awful, aren’t they?  Some of them don’t even make it from the bus they rode in on into the Buffett gig with the other weekend-bender geriatrics because they get so drunk and sick on wine coolers, rum drinks, piña colladas, and puffs off the ol’ one-hitter that Dr. Johnson enjoys once a year on the annual bus trip to Buffet Paradise. Add weed, cocaine, and a whole different kind of wealthy white breed of fraternity and sorority boys and girls, and there ya have it. Hell freezes over on earth at a Jimmy Buffett show.
  • The Black Crowes:  See Definition for Wilco, again, but replace the band, songs, and fan base with the Rolling Stones. Tell the Stones’ fan base to go home, and their you have it, a Black Crowes cover band show that’s been relocated from the festival grounds to the bowling alley.  Not only do Black Crowe fans suck, the band sucks, and so Black Crowe cover bands. Especially cover bands in Rockford, Illinois.
  • A few more to consider mentioning, like Pearl Jam, but I can’t go there. Not only are the fans terrible but the band’s songs are beyond the time limit needed to convince you with less than 3,000,000 words how awful of a band and their bozo fans are. People who sing along to “Jeremy” are not my kind of people to comment on.

For the love of a golden god and all that is holy about rock n’ roll, can you please shut the fuck up while the band is playing?  I didn’t pay to listen to you and your friends talk and laugh and smoke and spill beer and sweat and dance like you’re at the Lilith Fair.  Stop it.  Please, stop it. What is wrong with most of you?

Really, I’ll say it again: What is wrong with most of you, people? Do you not care about the music at all?




Andy Whorehall (SM)
Words © 2012 Andy Whorehall (SM)
All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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Bands With The Worst FansAndy Whorehall

9 comments on "Bands With The Worst Fans"

  1. Kevin Schwitters on

    During my late teens and early 20s, I worked at Subway. One of the most annoying things in the world, as anyone who has worked in a restaurant or store knows, is when people come in right at closing time. Well, I think I have the worst “almost-closed-and-customers-come-in” story ever. One afternoon my boss had decided we should close early–I can’t remember why–and, gleefully, I spent about 45 minutes making all my closing preparations. I was just about to lock the door when I saw it. A bus. A giant bus. It pulled up into our lot and about 50 idiots in Hawaiian shirts started exiting the bus and walking towards the door. Jimmy Buffet was playing Alpine Valley that night. Morons of all annoying ages: 22, 29, 34, 45, 56–you name it–got in line. I had to scramble to take all of our unsuspecting food items out of the cooler, where I had laid them safely out of parrot-head reach. As I made sandwich after sandwich after sandwich after sandwich, the Jimmy Buffet fans sang songs, high-fived, and undid any closing preparations I had made. Cold Cut Combos in Paradise. One of them asked me if I was jealous that he was going to see the concert. “Dude, not a Buffet fan?!” No, I’m not. Yuck. I think I listened to only Minor Threat and Black Flag for days just to wash the…well, whatever it is that makes one like Jimmy Buffet…off of me.

    I totally agree, Andy. Before that day, I had no idea that anything could be worse than Jimmy Buffet’s music. It’s pretty terrible, but his fans take the (sponge) cake.

    • Kevin, I vaguely remember you mentioning this story to me once about the Subway Buffett night. It’s like many people I’ve met who recollect their encounters with Parrot Heads. These are people who hate music. I can’t imagine a worse scenario to be in as a Subway employee or customer. Two people confided in me recently by stating, “I think I went to a Buffett show once, but I don’t remember leaving the parking lot— or hearing Jimmy Buffett!” 2 people, one being my girlfriend. The other person, Joe, said, “Yeah! I was on that bus, too, but we did see Jimmy Buffett. Remember?”
      KT: “You were on the same bus as me?!”
      Joe: “Yep, You just moved home and you were dating Marc— this is a good 10-11 years ago.”
      KT: “I don’t remember this at all?! Did we really get to see Jimmy Buffett together?!”
      Joe: “I think so!”

      Point being, they love live music and don’t remember anything about actually seeing and listening to Jimmy Buffett because they were persuaded by evil Parrot Heads to jump on a bus with other white people, to be poisoned. To have their love for music poisoned by Parrot Heads. Joe & KT are survivors… as is you. Are? Is? How do that work? How does that work? How do this work? Ahahahhahahha!

      Thanks for sharing Cold Cut Combos in Paradise… holy hell on earth!!

  2. Yes!…saw Wilco at Red Rocks in June. It was like a fashion show. No one paying attention and everyone talking, texting, and singing without knowing the lyrics. The people next to me kept saying that “the band must be trying out new songs,” when they were actually hearing songs off of A.M., Being There, and Summerteeth (perhaps the great trilogy in their canon?). I’ve noticed that if you listen to a live show in England – Blur, for example – the crowd knows when to sing along COLLECTIVELY and when to give it a rest. It’s a perfect commentary on the state of music – white people who buy songs, not albums, that simply want to be seen in their designer skin tight cut off jean shorts and Urban Outfitters gear. This is what Special Ops Levine calls, the “Hipeousie,” the new ruling class of hipster culture and destroyers of the live music experience.

  3. Kevin Schwitters on

    There are so many different types of people on the front lines of the assault on good live music. I saw Smoking Popes at Summerfest this year, and they played one of the best shows I’ve ever seen them play. Unfortunately, the masses of teenagers waiting for the bands after the Popes had populated the front rows. I had to stare at dozens of teenagers sit, backs to the band, with their faces in their phones for the entire set. It made me furious. It’s not just a teenager thing though because Death Cab for Cutie played later that same night and I saw hundreds of adults doing the same thing. Why even leave the house?

  4. I’ve gone to a lot of concerts and have listened to a lot of opening bands that I didn’t like…..AND I MEAN LISTENED! No matter what, I politely listen to all the bands and applaud for them too. People are so rude…too often there’s talking during the music. Why dd you pay the money for the ticket and then TALK all evening?! You could have done that for FREE at home!!! And not ruined my concert going experience in the process. I suppose the same idiots talk during a movie too.

  5. Good lunch read Andy.

  6. I can whole heartedly agree with this entire post. I have seen Phish and Wilco both, and the fans are douches. I for one, would never want to see Jimmy Buffett or Dave Matthews, but that’s just my personal opinion. I remember at a Phish show my friend and I sat in her car real quick in the parking lot. This shirtless fucktard stood up on the hood and pointed screaming “They’re smoking crack!” Thanks dude. Unfortunately we were eating mushrooms and didn’t want to share with you and your homeless shoulder kitten. Spare me a grilled cheese? Hell no, feed your dog first you asshole. In fact, don’t bring your poor hungry animals to a show. You can’t even afford a leash.

  7. Pingback: Articles & Podcast Episodes List | Andy Whorehall

  8. As long as you realize you’re referring to the “bandwagon” fans, I really don’t have an issue. You just named 4 of the most talented bands of the 20th century so diminishing them in any way is slightly ridiculous. Since these bands are so talented, they’ve gathered a huuuuge live performance following, obviously any time this happens your going to get plenty of people who know 1 or 2 hits but still go to the shows for the scene, which is essentially what you’re talking about. I’ve seen all these bands live with the exception of Wilco and you definitely are touching on the casual fans that are coming for “the party”. I’ve seen DMB many times and I’ll say it’s extremely sad and unfortunate how many people are there just to talk and party, they completely ignore the music on the lawn it seems like, which is really sad because here you’ve got this band of world class musicians playing heartfelt songs and trying to send a message and you have 1/4 of the audience talking over it. So in that sense I understand what you’re saying, but please understand that you’re not talking about the bands actual fans, you’re talking about a bunch of douche chills searching for a party scene that wouldn’t give two craps about a “Stone” opener at a DMB concert or a “Help is On the Way>Slipknot” at a Dead show.

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